You’ve picked a venue, booked a caterer and set the date. The dress, and its subsequent fittings are taken care of, as is the attire for the entire bridal party. The DJ is ready to go and the photographer is set up for photos after the ceremony and during the reception.

But as the wedding approaches, you feel not more at ease, but increasingly worried. Sometimes you aren’t even sure if you’re excited about what should be one of the happiest days of your life.

Is this normal? Or is it a sign that something’s terribly wrong?

Cold feet: not just for movies

            Cold feet, a phrase that is thrown out frivolously as an all too common troupe in romantic comedies, is actually a very real thing.

Marriage itself is a life changing event, and, coupled with the stress of wedding planning, it’s normal to have fears, anxiety, and even doubts. In fact, there’s evidence that not having any doubts before a wedding might lead to a greater risk of divorce.

Why? It means, to some degree, that you’re taking the decision seriously and attempting to troubleshoot future complications that may arise. Having some degree of anxiety also shows you’re emotionally invested in the union, and want it to succeed. In fact, fears such as worries about levels of attraction, future disagreements, and small pet peeves seem to be common. Some people even experience recurring nightmares.

More than nerves

But too many doubts–or outright dreading a wedding isn’t a good sign. Here are some red flags to look out for:

  1. You keep asking close friends or family: Seeking advice from loved ones is one thing; constantly asking for reassurance is another. While it’s normal to not feel one hundred percent confident about your decision, if you need others to tell you it’s the right thing to do, it’s a bad sign, especially if you keep asking.
  2. You’ve avoided discussing things beyond the wedding: While having  discussions about wedding planning is necessary, it’s a good idea to take a step back if you realize it’s about the only thing you and your partner discuss. Of special note: have you planned and planned about the wedding, but said next to nothing about your future lives together–like how you’ll deal with finances, if you want children, etc? If you haven’t, not only do you need to, but it may be a sign of a premature wedding.
  3. You said yes…for the wrong reasons: What are the wrong reasons to get married? While only you can really know here are a few bad reasons: getting married because others want/expect you to, to avoid some sort of conflict, or because you or your partner feels pressured by the other. Also of note: getting married to make others happy, or because you think it will help improve problems in a relationship.
  4. You just know: And then there’s a gut feeling. If you can only think about your future together with dread, don’t try to rationalize. You owe your partner–but above all, yourself–to be honest.


For regular anxiety and nerves, see these 10 great tips. Dress stress? Speak with a bridal consultant, who can find a gown that fits your budget and style.